What is a HIN?
A Holder Identification Number (HIN) ensures every investment you make on the ASX is assigned to your own name.
- A HIN is specific to investors when they buy Australian stocks.
- A HIN has an X followed by ten unique digits.
- A HIN ensures investors have all available protections since their investments are in their name.
What is a HIN (Holder Identification Number)?
A Holder Identification Number (HIN) is a unique number exclusively issued by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to an investor after they open a new brokerage account. After a HIN is issued, all investments made on the ASX through that broker are connected to the investor through the unique number.
However, not all brokers facilitate unique HINs; some might bundle investors together using a custodial model. Under this model you do not directly own your shares; instead, the broker uses a custodian who keeps a record of every client’s holdings under a mega or special purpose HIN. Those investors have beneficial ownership of the shares, but not direct legal ownership.
The downside of the custodial model can be that you have less direct control over your investment and less access to your holdings. For example, if the broker goes under, there could be difficulties or delays in claiming your stocks.
Stake is a CHESS-sponsored broker and will provide a unique HIN number to investors who open an ASX account.
How many numbers in a HIN?
HIN consists of an X followed by ten unique numbers. So 11 characters in total.
How do I find my HIN number?
To find your ASX hin on the Stake app, follow these steps:
- Open the Stake app
- Ensure you're on Stake AUS (rather than Stake Wall St)
- Tap the Person icon for account settings
- Tap on Profile
- Scroll to Account Details
- See your HIN
Stake shows the shorthand HIN format, like 123456789, without the letter X and any preceding zeros.
When searching on the registry, you’ll need to include the X followed by the Stake HIN digits. You may need to enter a 0 after the X, e.g. ‘X0123456789’, to make up 11 characters.
HIN vs SRN: What is the difference between HIN and SRN?
SRN stands for a Security Reference Number. An SRN is used by issuer-sponsored shares, a situation that arises when shares are purchased outside of a broker and are held directly on a company’s share registry. If you have an account with Stake but also hold shares outside of any broker, those shares would be listed under an SRN, not your Stake HIN.
Simply put, a HIN identifies who owns shares held through a broker, and an SRN associates shares held outside of a broker.
Can you have multiple HINs?
Since a HIN is opened when a new account is created, it’s possible to have multiple Holder Identification Numbers across multiple brokers for the same stock. For example, someone could theoretically have a HIN at one broker for a single share purchased of RKLB, and another HIN for 1,000 shares owned on the Stake platform.
Can you transfer shares from one HIN to another?
Yes, you can transfer Australian shares from one HIN to another. Remember, a HIN is a unique number given to investors by the ASX for each brokerage account they open using the Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS).
Most of the time, transferring shares will not cause a capital gains tax (CGT) event. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), ‘If you don’t sell the shares, and instead they are transferred across with you remaining as the beneficiary, such as an in-specie transfer, there will be no CGT event’.